Home » Ask Dr. Mike » Recent Articles:

Support Group Help Needed

drmikenewpic

Dr. Mike,
My son was diagnosed with ADHD two years ago, and his pediatrician at that time recommended we try a social skills group for his “immaturity” and “impulsivity.” We did that, and our experience was horrible. The kids in the group had much bigger problems than my son and a couple of them actually had Autism and not ADHD. One child couldn’t control himself and hit my son and that was our last group with them. I think the group made things worse because my son was very self-conscious and anxious afterwards. Fast forward two years later, and my son is still socially immature and impulsive and now his fourth grade teacher is recommending a social skills group for him. Ugh! The place we went to two years ago is supposed to be the best social skills group practice in our area, so now what? Thank you for your guidance.
Concerned Parent
… Continue Reading

Wrongfully Willed?

November 2, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Wrongfully Willed?
drmikenewpic

Dr. Mike,
I am approaching the one-year anniversary of my dad’s death, and I’m still very angry with him for how he left his remaining money to my older brother, my younger brother and me. My husband and I have two daughters and my older brother has two sons. My younger brother is single and doesn’t have any children. My father had $900,000 when he passed away, and he left my older brother $800,000, which included trust funds for my brother’s two sons’ colleges. My younger brother and me got the remaining $50,000 each.

I was assuming that my dad would just split the family’s inheritance equally. Our parents paid for our colleges, they gave my older brother and me money for our weddings, and they were pretty much always even steven with us as adults. So, imagine how shocked my younger brother and I were to learn that that because in the Will I am “wealthy” and because my younger brother doesn’t have children, my dad decided to give the majority of his inheritance to my older brother and his children to make things “fair.” … Continue Reading

Concerned Parent

October 6, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Concerned Parent
drmikenewpic

By Michael Oberschenider Psy.D.
Dr. Mike,
We recently signed our four-year-old daughter up for gymnastics. It wasn’t cheap, but her friends from the neighborhood do it, and she has been begging us to go. It turned out to be a horrible disaster. From the first lesson, she was frustrated, she couldn’t pick up the instructions, and it was a battle to get her to go every time. My husband took the hard line that our daughter had to continue because she made a commitment and because we couldn’t get our money back. I initially shared his position, but he never went to a single practice to see what I saw, and I couldn’t continue to drag my kid out of the car crying only to peel her off of me to enter a room and an activity she was miserable in for two hours a week over and over. I made the executive decision to pull our daughter, and my husband has been furious with me ever since. His unbending hard line position is that our society is all about immediate gratification these days and that commitment and perseverance means nothing to the youth of today; and that we are spoiling our kids by giving in to their every whim. What do you think?
Concerned Parent in Loudoun County
… Continue Reading

New Book Helps Balance Children’s Screen-Time and Play Time

September 7, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on New Book Helps Balance Children’s Screen-Time and Play Time
drmikenewpic

By Amanda Clark
Michael Oberschneider, a clinical psychologist and founder/director of Ashburn Psychological Psychiatric Services, has just released a book titled Ollie Outside. This book addresses the very timely and important topic of screen- and media-time management for children. Ollie Outside is a story about a boy who wants to spend time with others, but everyone around him is preoccupied with some sort of technology. Ollie is resourceful and active and loves the outdoors, so he turns his moments of upset into action to solve his problem. At the end of the book, Ollie and his family come together to learn the valuable lesson of managing technology better, and putting their relationships first. “This is a very timely and relevant message for young children to hear in today’s technology-focused society,” says Oberschneider. … Continue Reading

Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?

July 20, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?
Michael_Pic

Penicillin was accidently discovered in 1928 when scientist Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation to notice that a strange fungus growing on a culture had killed off the neighboring bacteria. After WWII, psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. John Cade, also accidently discovered the extremely positive affects of lithium for mood disturbances that revolutionized the treatment for what we now know as Bipolar Disorder. Some of the other amazing medical discoveries that were found by accident include, Nitrous Oxide, the Pap Smear, the Pace Maker and even Viagra. … Continue Reading

Living in Debt

June 1, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Living in Debt
Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike,
My husband has issues with money that are hurting our relationship and family. He makes a lot of money, but he spends more than he makes and we are in debt. He can’t just have a luxury car, oh no, he has to have the newest and nicest one in the neighborhood. He can’t just have any old golf club membership, he has to have the most expensive one that oh, by the way he only goes to about 10 times a year. His bonus last year was his highest of all time but he spent it before the check even cleared the bank. We have no savings to our name, tons of credit card debt and spoiled kids, but every time I bring our finances up to him he tells me that he “works hard” or he “deserves it” or “chill out” and I “worry too much.” I love him to death but can’t keep living like this. Got a few ideas for us?
Concerned in Loudoun
… Continue Reading

Concerned Parent

April 6, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Concerned Parent
Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

Dr. Mike,
We are concerned about some habits our nine year old son demonstrates and would love some advice from you.  We are unsure whether it’s anxiety, nervousness, or just nervous/an excess of energy.  A few years ago he began biting his fingernails and does that very frequently now.  Along with that habit he seems to pick up other tics that he’ll demonstrate for a few weeks and then they’ll dissipate which will be followed by another one a few weeks/months later.  Some of these tics have been scrunching up his eyes/face and tapping his hands onto his legs.  My husband and I try not to draw attention to them as we don’t want him to feel badly about something he can’t seem to help but we are unsure how to help him.  Thanks for any advice and suggestions you might have.  
A concerned parent
… Continue Reading

Am I an Enabler?

March 2, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Am I an Enabler?
Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike,
My husband thinks that I’m harming our son for life because of the way I parent. Our son is 12 years old and he was diagnosed with ADHD in the 1st grade. My husband calls me “the enabler” because I admittedly double or triple check things for our son, give him constant reminders, and stay up late with him to get homework and projects done. My husband’s approach to parenting our son is to leave him alone to fail. My husband’s favorite line to me these days is “how will he ever learn how to do things for himself if you are always doing everything for him?” Our son isn’t doing great at school these days already so I cannot agree to the hard knocks approach to parenting my husband believes in so much. Can you give me some advice on how to get through to my husband that being hands-on is a must when parenting a child with ADHD? Your input is appreciated.
Concerned Parent
… Continue Reading

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

February 3, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents
Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.
“snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly anticipate more snow days, there is a sense of reservation for many parents that it’s over and their children will be returing to school on Monday. … Continue Reading

The Scorpion, the Frog, and You!

January 7, 2016 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on The Scorpion, the Frog, and You!
Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” The scorpion says, “Because if I do, I will die too.”

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown, but has just enough time to gasp “Why?”

Replies the scorpion: “It’s my nature …” … Continue Reading

How To Talk about ISIS and Terrorism with Your Children

December 2, 2015 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on How To Talk about ISIS and Terrorism with Your Children
Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

The recent terrorist attacks in Paris have shaken the hearts and heads of many around the world. And since the Paris attacks, upsetting event after upsetting event has occurred, compounding the effect on our collective psyche as a nation. And while we are all upset by what his happening right now, our children as a group are the most at risk emotionally as a group.

As a child psychologist, I have been dealing with the emotional impact of terrorism this past week with a number of my child and teen patients. While I am perforce in the role of treating children with emotional and behavioral struggles, there are times when larger societal issues can enter the therapy space – and this is one of those times. Many of my child and teen clients have broached the topic of terrorism with me and with a heightened sense of anxiety. … Continue Reading

The Psychology of Your Child’s Halloween Costume

November 4, 2015 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on The Psychology of Your Child’s Halloween Costume
Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D.

Even though Halloween has passed it is one of the most fun times of the year for children. The meaning of Halloween runs deep in our culture – it’s a time to celebrate, a time for treats, a time for being spooky, a time for costumes, and it’s a time to enjoy family and friends. When we think back to some of our fondest childhood memories, most of us have at least one or two Halloween moments.
And what costume your child selects, can say a lot about who he or she is or where they are developmentally.

Gore and the Macabre: Many young children are fascinated by monster costumes, but what is the message behind the mask? Perhaps Frankstein’s monster symbolizes science gone bad. Others have posited that zombies symbolize excesses of consumer capitalism and dissatisfaction with conformity and a loss of individuality. Is it a coincidence that zombies were first introduced in film after The Great Depression, and they have gained in popularity in the media since the recent recession and during a time that the U.S. economy is struggling again? … Continue Reading

Help with My Picky Eater

September 30, 2015 Ask Dr. Mike, Columns Comments Off on Help with My Picky Eater
Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike,
My 6 year old son refuses to eat anything but peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, carby snacks and anything sweet – no veggies, no meat, no cheese, no pasta, etc. His pediatrician says his weight is fine, and she suggested a vitamin and mineral supplement shake, which my son actually likes because it’s chocolate. When I was a kid, I ate what was on the table for dinner, or I didn’t eat anything. Why doesn’t that approach work with my kid? The harsher I get, the more disobedient he gets. Even when I am super kind to him, nothing changes. Every day is a struggle, and there is always a fight with tears…sometimes for both of us. I am at my wits end because he’s not eating and we can’t take him anywhere. My neighbor suggested therapy but should I have to take my son to therapy to eat a balanced diet? Your help is appreciated.
Concerned Parent

Concerned Parent,
It seems to me that you are caught in a control battle with your son, and your son is winning the battle. In my opinion, the first thing I think you need to do is to agree with your son that you will no longer be battling him on the topic of food. Instead, you and your son are going to agree on an action plan to solve the problem. The first step in your action plan will be to replace the escalation of nudging, coaxing, prodding, arguing and fighting about food with agreed upon meals each day.

The next step in your action plan will be to sit down with your son to put together a list of foods that he likes, foods that he might like (or might be willing to try) and foods that he does not like. Perhaps you could categorize the foods as “yes foods,” “maybe foods” and “no foods.” Then for each meal, allow your son to have a small amount of one food that he likes, and serve a couple of maybe foods on his plate. If he chooses not to eat much, that is his choice. Remember no more nudging, coaxing, prodding, arguing or fighting about it. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, you will also want to decide on a time for when the meal is over and when the kitchen is closed.

I would then implement a no snack policy in between meals for your son. If he is filling up on Goldfish and candy after school, he probably will not have much of an appetite for dinner. By not snacking at all, your son will be hungrier at mealtime, and thus, he will be more likely to try the maybe foods he previously selected.

Whether your son is at a friend’s house, at school, or at a restaurant, you will want to keep him consistent with the meal plan. You will also want to reassess the maybe food list each day, and over time, your son’s list of maybe foods should grow. You could even bring your son grocery shopping with you to discuss his maybe foods. Young children are visual, and at 6, seeing the foods he is considering could be helpful. You could also let your son know that you will reintroduce healthy snacks into his day when he and you agree on what those snacks will be (e.g., fruit). And of course, continue to follow your son’s pediatrician’s recommendation for the food shake supplement.

Keep in mind that your son will probably not care very much for the action plan that I am offering here because it is going to challenge him to change and change is usually difficult. In fact, he might even fight you over the plan; things could seem to get worse before they get better, but that is okay. Stay the course and with time, and by being reasonable, consistent, loving and patient, your son’s picky eating should improve.

If, however, your son’s picky eating does not improve within a reasonable period of time (say a month or two), or if you notice that he is beginning to struggle in other ways or in other areas, you might want to consider seeing a child psychologist. While picky eating is not that unusual in early childhood, underlying anxiety may be what’s driving your son’s need to over control his food choices. Problematic anxiety with food in early childhood can sometimes work itself out with exposure and time, but sometimes it requires the additional attention of a mental health professional.

Michael Oberschneider “Dr. Mike” is the founder and director of Ashburn Psychological Services, a private mental health clinic comprised of 12 MD and PhD level mental health clinicians. Go to www.Ashburnpsych.com or call 703 723-2999 to learn more.


 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Pearl Harbor

flag

By Nicholas Reid Seventy-five years ago this December 7, to quote President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” It will have been 75 …

Early Returns: How U.S. Markets Reacted to the Presidential Election

Smith0035

On November 8, 2016, Republican candidate Donald J. Trump won a closely contested election for president of the United States. Late on election night, when it became evident that Trump was likely to win, despite consistently trailing in the polls, …

America: Worthy of Our Trust

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel My friend and I sit in a bar near our office. He is upset, bags under his eyes due to lack of sleep. Thursday, our weekly night to meet is usually a happy hour filled with intellectual …

South Riding

South Riding

I should have known that this one would take me far from my contemplative, Zen-inspired comfort zone; after I’d traversed more construction projects than I wanted to tally, competed with hurried, coffee-driven commuters with no time for mere existence, and …

Support Group Help Needed

drmikenewpic

Dr. Mike, My son was diagnosed with ADHD two years ago, and his pediatrician at that time recommended we try a social skills group for his “immaturity” and “impulsivity.” We did that, and our experience was horrible. The kids in …

The State of Corals

Figure 3 close up view of healthy coral polyps. [9]

(Presented to the Board of Supervisors December 6, 2016) “Events as severe as the 1998 event, the worst on record, are likely to become commonplace within 20 years.” – Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, 1999 [4] Tony Noerpel

Reply to Nicholas Reid – What is Science

noerpel_new

“The word “cult” has always been controversial because it is (in a pejorative sense) considered a subjective term, used as an ad hominem attack against groups with differing doctrines or practices, which lacks a clear or consistent definition.” “[Dogma] is …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

grads_woodgrove

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

(Be the first to comment)

Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

buckland

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

(Be the first to comment)

Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

adamspromoted

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

(Be the first to comment)

Calendar

December 2016
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
November 28, 2016 November 29, 2016 November 30, 2016 December 1, 2016 December 2, 2016 December 3, 2016

Holiday Open House

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

December 4, 2016

Holiday Open House

December 5, 2016 December 6, 2016 December 7, 2016 December 8, 2016 December 9, 2016 December 10, 2016

Barrel Tasting Event Saturday

December 11, 2016
December 12, 2016 December 13, 2016 December 14, 2016 December 15, 2016 December 16, 2016 December 17, 2016 December 18, 2016
December 19, 2016 December 20, 2016 December 21, 2016 December 22, 2016 December 23, 2016 December 24, 2016 December 25, 2016
December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration

January 1, 2017
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

Steady and NoBull

Lifestyle

Ugly Christmas Sweater Fad Keeps Growing

30 Nov 2016

uglysweater

Since 2012, the Re-Love It consignment shop, at 138 N. 21st Street in Purcellville, has developed the reputation as the place to get your Ugly Christmas Sweater in the Metro D.C. area. In that time, Re-Love It has sold more than 3,000 vintage Ugly Christmas Sweaters.

(Be the first to comment)

‘The Giver’ Comes To Franklin Park Arts Center

30 Nov 2016

FranklinParkLog2014web(2)

Geronimo Production Company’s Premier Show Geronimo Production Company is bringing another sort of Christmas play to Loudoun County. The Giver, based on Lois Lowry’s YA dystopian classic, will be premiering at Franklin Park Arts Center on December 8-11. “This show is perfect for Christmastime,” director Keaghan Wier said. “It focuses on displaying the value of family, love, and joy…. These …

(Be the first to comment)

What Is Special To You about the Holidays?

30 Nov 2016

henrycarlson

By Amanda Clark Henry Carlson – Purcellville “For me, the holidays are about celebrating the connection you’ve got with your kin, listening to 50’s music, and staying warm!”

(Be the first to comment)

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

blueridge2.jpg

– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

blueridge2.jpg

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

catesbyproposal

We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

It’s Our Right

catesbyproposal

On December 6, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on a “Minor Special Exception” proposal we submitted earlier this year concerning our Catesby Farm property. Unfortunately, our limited …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

blueridge2

By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

History’s Holy Places: Four Local Sites Worth Exploring This Fall

outandaboutloudoun

The Journey through Hallowed Ground is a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide trek from Gettysburg to Monticello, encompassing nine presidential homes and places, 18 national and state parks, and thousands of small and large historical sites. Dozens and dozens of these sites and related museums are short ride from just about …

(Be the first to comment)

Land Trust Receives Large Donation

land trust

On August 22, The Land Trust of Virginia received a $10,000 gift from the Sharon D. Virts Foundation, based in Herndon. The presentation of this grant was part of the Foundation’s official launch event, held at Selma Plantation in Leesburg. Notable speakers included Sharon D. Virts, FCiFederal Founder and Chair, …

(Be the first to comment)

Farmers Urged To Be On The Lookout For Marijuana

marijuana

Farmers in Southwest Virginia are being urged to check their property for marijuana planted by trespassers. Within the past year, hundreds of marijuana plants have been discovered between rows of hay bales on farms in and around Pulaski County, according to the Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force. “Unfortunately this …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

Accepting Applications for Sports League Funding

30 Nov 2016

basketball

Purcellville is accepting applications from local organizations for its annual sports league funding program. Organizations must serve the Town of Purcellville area, have citizens of the Town of Purcellville as players, and provide a letter to the Town from the IRS confirming the organization’s tax exempt status in order to …

(Be the first to comment)

Woodgrove High Student Will Pursue Track and Field at George Mason

30 Nov 2016

woodgrove

Puneet Kaur of Woodgrove High School has signed a National Letter of Intent to continue her track and field career at George Mason University. Kaur has held the school record in shot put since her sophomore year and is looking to throw shotput, hammer, discus and maybe even the javelin …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009